Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), which is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), is an amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome. In layman’s terms, RSD is a chronic pain syndrome that involves swelling, sensitivity to touch, skin irritation, and sometimes nerve damage to the limbs, though it is able to spread to the entire body. If left untreated, RSD can cause debilitating symptoms such as skin damage, fatigue, neuro- and urological damage, and even depression. There is no known cause of the disease, although injury and surgery are known to cause RSD in some patients. Anyone who has ever had RSD or knows someone who does are aware of just how painful and exhausting RSD can be. It truly takes a toll on your body and, in turn, your day-to-day life.
Fortunately, however, RSD treatment options are available. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy is effective, FDA-approved method of treating those with RSD. The treatment, on paper, is simple enough. It basically involves the increased intake of oxygen into the body. By increasing oxygen levels, the body is better able to repair damaged tissue as well as provide pain relief. Treatment is usually administered in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, which is a sealed, highly-pressurized container that increases the air pressure well above atmospheric levels, enabling the body to absorb more oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments can treat other illnesses besides RSD, including Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS, and radiation necrosis, which is common with cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy or radiosurgery. It is also commonly used to treat decompression sickness, which is common with scuba divers and even sailors.
There are other applications of hyperbaric oxygen therapy but the important thing is this: patients with the said diseases should consider the treatment. Not only will your condition improve, so will your day-to-day life.
What do you think of this kind of RSD treatment? Feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.